By Tammy Schneider
For many companies, community involvement and support is part of their corporate mandate. Pandemic restrictions imposed by COVID has lessened those occasions where they can offer financial assistance to community initiatives and events, limited volunteer opportunities or offer support to the communities that frequent their businesses.
Such is the case with Bruce Telecom. A past supporter of the Pride parades in Kincardine, marketing coordinator Kathryn Bruce contacted Pride president Fort Papalia to see how the telecommunications company could offer its support.
“In the fall of 2021, I had reached out on behalf of Bruce Telecom to Fort Papalia from Kincardine Pride, to see if there were any opportunities to partner in an awareness initiative of some sort,” said Bruce. “Bruce Telecom is involved in so many community groups and in previous years, we supported the Kincardine Pride group with their parades. With COVID being a game changer, we wanted to continue our support in another way and we weren’t sure how. All we knew is that we wanted to show our support to the LGBTQ community and spread awareness.”
Papalia and Bruce looked at the possibility of setting up a lending library, run out of the Pride office, with Pride handling the distribution and Bruce Telecom purchasing the books. Because of ongoing office closures, that idea was put aside, but since past collaborations with the Kincardine Library had been very positive, they approached the Kincardine Library lead branch supervisor Michaela Posthumus, with the initiative, and a partnership between the three organizations was formed.
“This donation enabled us to purchase even more inclusive picture books, recent fiction for adults, young adults, and kids, as well as non-fiction books on LGBTQ+ topics,” said Posthumus. “There are bestsellers and book club picks, relatable coming-of-age stories, and fun, colourful read-alouds for families. The Bruce County Public Library supports a diverse collection of books, movies, and more that represent all members of our community. Whether you’re looking for information, entertainment, or to see the world through someone else’s eyes, you’ll find it in these new additions to our library.”
After the particulars were ironed out, Bruce Telecom came forward with $500 to fund the purchase of LGBTQ books to add to the library’s current collection. Posthumus sourced out new writings and come this June, the Kincardine branch will showcase the books, during Pride month.
“Kincardine Pride is excited to accept a donation of $500 from Bruce Telecom, to be used towards the purchase of books on LGBTQ+ topics and themes,” said Papalia. “These books will be curated and made available to the public by the Bruce County Library system in order to reach as wide a readership as possible. Thank you to both our community partners for collaborating on this initiative, in support of inclusiveness and diversity in our area communities.”
“Bruce Telecom is so grateful to be part of the work the Kincardine Pride group and the Kincardine Public Library are doing to help educate and spread kindness,” said Bruce.